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GennaRose Nethercott, The Lumberjack's Dove: A Poem
GennaRose Nethercott will be in conversation with local author Jedediah Berry, author of The Manual of Detection. This event is co-sponsored by the Mount Holyoke College English Department.
A boldly original and visceral debut collection from the winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series Competition, selected by Louise Gluck
In the ingenious and vividly imagined narrative poem The Lumberjack’s Dove, GennaRose Nethercott describes a lumberjack who cuts his hand off with an axe—however, instead of merely being severed, the hand shapeshifts into a dove. Far from representing just an event of pain and loss in the body, this incident spirals outward to explore countless facets of being human, prompting profound reflections on sacrifice and longing, time and memory, and—finally—considering the act of storytelling itself. The lumberjack, his hand, and the axe that separated the two all become participants in the story, with unique perspectives to share and lessons to impart. “I taught your fathers how to love,” Axe says to the acorns and leaves around her. “I mean to be felled, sliced to lumber, & reassembled into a new body.”
Inflected with the uncanny enchantment of modern folklore and animated by the sly shifting of points-of-view, The Lumberjack’s Dove is wise, richly textured poetry from a boundlessly creative new voice.
GennaRose Nethercott is the author of The Lumberjack’s Dove (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2018), selected by Louise Glück as a winner of the National Poetry Series. Her other projects include A Ghost of Water (an ekphrastic collaboration with printmaker Susan Osgood) and the narrative song collection Modern Ballads. Her work has appeared in The Offing, Rust & Moth, PANK, and elsewhere, and she has been a writer-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Art Farm Nebraska, and the Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris. She is currently a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow.
Jedediah Berry’s first novel, The Manual of Detection, won the IAFA Crawford Award and the Dashiell Hammett Prize, and was adapted for broadcast by BBC Radio. The book was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, a Locus Award, and France’s Prix Bob Morane. It has been published in a dozen languages. His story in cards, “The Family Arcana,” was published as a poker deck by Ninepin Press, and was a finalist for a World Fantasy Award. His other works of short fiction appear online at Tor.com and Interfictions; in the journals Conjunctions, Unstuck